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J.M. Nolan, O. O' Donovan, H. Kavanagh, S. Mc Naughton, J. Mellerio, M. Stevenson, S. Beatty; Macular pigment optical density, and serum and dietary lutein and zeaxanthin, in healthy subjects with and without a family history of Age–Related Maculopathy. . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):2967.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose:Macular pigment (MP) is composed of the two hydroxycarotenoids, lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z), and is entirely of dietary origin. There is a growing body of observational evidence in support of the hypothesis that MP protects against age–related maculopathy (ARM) as a result of its absorbance spectrum and/or antioxidant properties. This study was undertaken to investigate macular pigment optical density, serum L and Z, and dietary intake of L and Z in healthy subjects, and to relate these measures to putative risk for ARM. Methods:One hundred and fifty healthy subjects aged between 25 and 60 years volunteered to participate in this study. Macular pigment optical density was measured psychophysically using heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP), serum L and Z were quantified using HPLC, and dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin was assessed using a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. Clinical and personal details were also recorded, with particular attention directed towards putative risk for ARM. Results:Mean MP optical density was 0.315 0.165 and 0.326 0.185 for right and left eyes, respectively. Mean dietary intake of L and Z, combined, was 1.57 1.13 mg/day, and this was positively related to MP optical density to a statistically significant level (p=0.019). Subjects with a confirmed family history of ARM had significantly lower optical density of MP than subjects with no known family history of disease (0.24 vs. 0.33; p=0.033), and smokers also had a relative lack of MP (0.23 versus 0.33; p=0.042). Age was inversely related to MP optical density (p = 0.013). Conclusions:In the absence of retinal pathology, the relative lack of MP among smokers and subjects with a confirmed family history of ARM supports the hypothesis that a deficiency of macular carotenoids may predispose to ARM.
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